Greetings, WUUC,

Time is playing tricks on me. In some ways, I can hardly believe another month has gone by, and October is already upon us. But when I look back at September, some of what occurred early in the month seems so long ago, because so much has happened since!

In the past month, I’ve had many meetings, phone calls, and Zoom chats. I’ve met with the board, the Ministry Council, the Worship Team, the Lay Pastoral Associates, the Finance Committee, and many other groups, teams, committees, and task forces. As I’ve been getting to know you better as a community, I’m learning some important things:

First, my initial impression is continuing to prove true. You are a warm, caring bunch; not without disagreements and differences in perspective, but no community agrees on everything. What’s important is that you love and care about each other.

Second, you seem thirsty. Thirsty for engagement. Thirsty for connection. Thirsty for spiritual depth. I imagine this thirst started back in March, with the onset of the pandemic, and has only gotten worse with each passing month of social isolation. And now, you are ready to drink deeply from the well.

But before we quench our thirst, we need to decide:

How are we going to be with one another?

This is the question at the heart of every community built on covenant. And the only way to answer it is to meet each other where we are, and listen deeply. Deep listening is how we will know one another, and how we will know what we need our community to be.

Once we agree about how we are going to be with one another, once we covenant to be in relationship, and to accept and affirm each other, then we’ve created a space where we can trust and be vulnerable. And this is how we engage, connect, and go deeper. This is how we quench our thirst.

If I were to lift this up in the spirit of prayer, it would sound like this:

May we continue to be the loving, caring community that we already are.

May we listen deeply.

May we trust and be vulnerable.

May we accept and affirm each other.

May we connect, engage, and go deeper.

May our thirst be quenched.

Amen. Blessed be.

Peace and Blessings,